Sanford Cops: 8-year-old boy dies from gunshot wounds inflicted allegedly by boyfriend of mother, also killed; kid brother, grandfather remain critical

Armed with Ak-47 assault rifle, convicted felon & alleged shooter Allen Dion Cashe turns home into veritable bloodbath

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

SANFORD, Fla. -- Sanford Police were notified just before 8 a.m today that Brandon D. Christian, 8 years old, died at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, due to multiple gunshot injuries suffered in Monday's mass shooting that also resulted in the death of his mother, allegedly by her boyfriend, who, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, turned the home into a veritable bloodbath.

Brandon's kid brother, Brendon Christian, still remains in very critical condition at Arnold Palmer Hospital. Their grandfather, Bertis Gerard Herring Jr, also remains in critical condition as well. Larazo Paredesquelite and Rakeya Jackson remain in stable condition. Sanford Police Investigators are continuing to work diligently on every aspect of the investigation and will continue to process evidence and interview witnesses.

After receiving the news of Branden’s death this morning, an emotionally-distraught Chief Smith said, "It is heartbreaking to know that this young child lost his life needlessly, and in such a violent manner. Our hearts and prayers are with his family during this tragedy. We will continue to focus on the case against Allen Cashe and to seek justice for all of the victims and their families.”

At 6:24 a.m. Monday, Sanford cops raced to 209 Hayes Drive in Sanford, in reference to 9-1-1 calls of shots fired. Just two minutes earlier, Sanford police officer Ivan Ivanov witnessed a white 2006 Buick bearing Florida Tag BQYG80, fleeing the area at a high rate of speed despite having a flat tire.

This vehicle was brought to Ivanov’s attention due to hearing multiple gun shots in the area at the time. Ivanov witnessed the vehicle leaving the immediate area where the shots were heard and followed the suspect car as it was driving recklessly northbound on US 17/92. The vehicle finally stopped at Seminole Gardens Apartments, 1600 West 5th St. That's when the driver, Allen Dion Cashe, bailed from the car with an AK-47 assault rifle in his hands.

Upon seeing Officer Ivanov, Cashe ran from Seminole Gardens, but was apprehended by Ivanof, and taken into custody without further incident. Ivanof also recovered the Ak-47, which Sanford cops maintain is the murder weapon.

When cops arrived at 209 Hayes Drive in Sanford, they found a veritable bloodbath: Four people with various gunshot wounds. The individuals included Allen Dion Cashe’s girlfriend and the mother of the two boys, Latina Verneta Herring, who was found dead in her bedroom; Herring’s father, Bertis Gerard Herring, Brandon Christian 8 years old and Brendon Christian, 7 years old. The latter three were transported to local hospitals, all in critical condition.

Timeline of what occurred as provided to Headline Surfer by Sanford police

Photo for Headline Surfer / Sanford police cars line both sides of the 200 block of Hays Street in the wake of a mass shooting Monday morning that so far has resulted in the deaths of a mother and one of her young sons. Still critical are the mother's father and the youngest of of boys, age 7.

• 3:37 am Monday: Sanford Police receive a 9-1-1 call reporting a battery on a female who is walking in the area of W. 25th Street and Ridgewood Ave.  The caller states they were receiving the information from a third party.  Responding cops on patrol are unable to locate the victim in that area.

• While trying to locate the victim, they receive an additional 9-1-1 call stating "the subject had a gun." Based on information given from the 9-1-1 caller, officers determined it was the victim and Cashe from the earlier incident, and arrived at the home address listed of 209 Hays Drive in Sanford.

• Cops arrive at that address, and find the victim and Cashe in a verbal argument in the front yard, arguing over Cashe returning the victim’s keys. Cashe and his vehicle were searched for weapons, and no weapons were found.  The keys to residence were also not located on Cashe or in his vehicle, but were located inside the home. 

• Cashe then collects some of his clothing and is preparing to the leave the home.  The victim brings out a bag stating that it was filled with more of Cashe’s belongings.  Cashe refuses to take the bag, and leaves. 

• The victim asks if officers would take the bag with Cashe’s belongings and keep it for safekeeping.  Inside the bag, officers locate a Glock 22 handgun and ammunition.

• 6:20 am, officers patrolling the area hear gunshots in the area of Hartwell Avenue, and then observe a white vehicle driving away from the area erratically. 

• 6:22 a.m., Sanford PD begins receiving 9-1-1 calls reporting a shooting that had just occurred at 209 Hays Drive.  A male victim, Bertis Gerard Herring Jr., DOB 04/03/1956, is outside of the home yelling for help.

• 6:27am, officers arrive at 209 Hays Drive and discover Latina Herring inside the residence dead, her body riddled with gunshot wounds.  They then find two of her sons, ages 7 and 8, inside the residence, critically injured from multiple gunshot wounds. 

• Cops then find an additional victim, Lazaro Paredesquelite, DOB 09/17/1973, on the ground near the baseball fields at Cedar Creek, located at 24th Street and Marshall Avenue, suffering from gunshot wounds.

• 6:28 am, Sanford cops actively pursue suspect vehicle  leaving the area of the shooting to the Seminole Gardens Apartments. Cashe makes a brief run from the car, but doesn't get very far at all: He is is subdued and taken into custody. The AK-47 rifle is recovered as well.

• 6:29 am, an additional victim, Rakeya Jackson, DOB 07/07/1998, arrives at Central Florid Regional Hospital with gunshot wounds.  She was standing at her school bus stop located on Cedar Creek Cir, when Cashe shot her while he was fleeing from the home at 209 Hays Drive.

• The two young boys transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital and are still in critical condition.  Their grandfather, Bertis Gerard Herring Jr., is transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital where he remains in critical condition. Lazaro Paredesquelite and Rakeya Jackson were both receiving care at Central Florida Regional Hospital, reported in stable condition.

• Reflecting on the morning’s shooting (before the older of the two boys dies less than 24 hours later), Chief Cecil Smith says, " Understanding senseless and violent incidents such as this, is never easy and will often never make sense.  A mother has lost her life, and three others including two young boys remain fighting for their lives.  Two others were shot as they started their day, including a high school student just waiting for her school bus to come.  There are no words to describe this morning’s scene.  I am just proud my officers were able to take him off the streets before he could take any more lives.” 

• Reflecting on the morning’s shooting (before the older of the two boys dies less than 24 hours later), Chief Cecil Smith says, " Understanding senseless and violent incidents such as this, is never easy and will often never make sense.  A mother has lost her life, and three others including two young boys remain fighting for their lives.  Two others were shot as they started their day, including a high school student just waiting for her school bus to come.  There are no words to describe this morning’s scene.  I am just proud my officers were able to take him off the streets before he could take any more lives.” 

• Cashe is charged with one count of first-degree Homicide, four counts of attempted first-degree pre-meditated homicide, one count of second-degree attempted homicide, one count of being a felon with a firearm and one count of violation of parole by a felon with a firearm.

 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.